Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under 50. Cervical carcinoma develops slowly over a period of years. So if you go for regular cancer screening, you have a good chance of detecting malignant cell changes on the cervix at an early stage.
An important examination in the early detection of cancer is the cell smear from the cervix (Pap test). In this test, the cell material is applied to a slide, stained and examined under the microscope.
In order to be able to optimally examine the cell smear, thin-layer cytology is also used in addition to the conventional method of the Pap test. Here, the cells taken via the smear are prepared in the laboratory and cleaned of blood, mucus and inflammatory cells. The material is then spread out in a thin layer on a microscope slide.
Thin-layer cytology in combination with conventional cytology is particularly informative and recommended for the early detection of cell changes.
Infection with human papillomaviruses is widespread. Almost everyone becomes infected with HPV in the course of their life. In most cases, this infection heals on its own without any consequences. However, if an infection with certain HP viruses (of the so-called high-risk type) persists, the risk of cell changes increases. Over a period of 10 - 15 years, cervical cancer can develop.
In the context of early cancer detection, the HPV test examines the cell smear from the cervix for human papilloma viruses of the high-risk type. The HPV test only clarifies the presence of the viruses. HP viruses can be detected in every second woman under the age of 35. In 90 per cent of all cases, this infection is completely harmless. Only a fraction of these women actually have cancer.
The HPV test is performed in women aged 35 and older - every three years in combination with a cell smear (Pap test). If HP viruses of the high-risk type are detected, further examinations or shorter examination intervals are necessary.
If an infection with HP viruses is detected, many questions arise. We have compiled the Most important answers have been compiled here for you.
Sonography of the pelvic organs is one of the most important gynaecological examinations for the early detection of cancer. The pelvic ultrasound is performed via the vagina (transvaginally) with the help of a rod-shaped, narrow probe.
With a transvaginal ultrasound, the organs of the small pelvis (e.g. uterus, ovaries) can be better assessed than with an ultrasound examination through the abdominal wall (abdominal ultrasound). This means that changes such as cysts in the ovaries or fibroids in the uterus can be detected, examined and documented at an early stage. In addition, the various tissue parts of the uterus (Myometrium and endometrium) as well as the cervix (Cervix) and the Douglas room can be visualised.
Regular palpation of the breast with the associated lymph nodes is a fundamental part of the early detection of breast cancer. During the examination, external changes such as skin redness or retractions of the skin or nipples are also assessed. Many of the indurations or lumps that can be felt are usually harmless cysts. Further clarification is done by ultrasound or mammography in a radiology practice.
In Baden-Württemberg, comprehensive mammography screening for all women between 50 and 70 years of age has been available for several years. Experts expect that this series of X-ray examinations, to which all women in the aforementioned age group are invited every two years, can reduce breast cancer mortality by a quarter.
Additional safety through ultrasound
The safety of breast cancer screening increases significantly if an ultrasound examination of the female breast (mamma sonography) is also performed once a year. Women before the age of 50 and with dense mammary glands particularly benefit from a sonographic examination. Here, ultrasound is often even superior to mammography.
The guidelines of the statutory health insurance funds for early cancer detection examinations only include palpation of the female breast and the associated lymph nodes from the age of 30.
For all women who would like to have more certainty than just a breast palpation, we recommend complementary sonography of the mammary gland.
The sonographic examination has the following advantages:
The mammary gland does not need to be pressed hard.
The method is free of radiation exposure.
It enables the detection of tumours that escape palpation.
Cystic changes in the breast can be better assessed.
Early detection improves the chances of cure and enables gentle therapy.
The earlier a cancer is detected, the sooner breast-conserving surgery can be performed.
Many malignant tumours can be prevented or cured by early detection. This includes colon cancer in particular, which is not uncommon. For some years now, we have known that colon cancer is announced many years before its actual development through preliminary stages, so-called intestinal polyps. These polyps are initially benign tumours of the intestinal wall, which only degenerate into malignant bowel cancer at a late stage. Early detection of these preliminary stages can therefore prevent bowel cancer. If colorectal cancer is detected at an early stage, the chances of cure are extraordinarily good at over 90%.
If the stool test detects human haemoglobin - i.e. blood - a colonoscopy should be performed to clarify the source of the bleeding.
After evaluation of all examination results, you will receive a written report.
After a long Corona break, a few days ago we finally had one of our internal trainings again:
A meeting of the whole practice team with one of the doctors, detailed, professional information on a topic of your choice and a good opportunity to discuss medical [read more...]
Since 2020, new legal provisions for the early detection of cervical cancer have been in force.
The most important change concerns patients from the age of 35 who have statutory health insurance and who are now offered regular testing for human papilloma viruses as part of their cancer screening.
The HPV test is performed with the conventional cytological smear from the cervix (cancer/Pap smear) [read more...]